“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, July 19, 2010

America's Federal Government Gone Insane

Please say it ain't so. This report is stupefyingly depressing. How do you unwind this? Instead of killing the terrorist camps, punishing Saudi Arabia and baking Ramadan cookies, the federal government under George Bush went out of control in a disproportionate and mostly ineffective reaction to a sucker punch.

The terrorists in affect are winning by destroying the very fabric of American freedoms.

How does anyone unwind this, because if it is not unwound it will destroy liberty.

No wonder Obama hardly knows what to do or where to start. If he tries to rationalize this insanity, the politics will kill him. Good God Almighty!


A hidden world, growing beyond control
Washington Post

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation's other findings include:

* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.

* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

* In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.
* Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks.

* Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year - a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.

Top Secret America


  1. I am so disgusted. I spent two hours digesting this thing, posting it only to have the out of control Google ask me for my password three times and then eating my post.

    Surely the Washington Post could not make this up. It cannot be a piece designed to help explain the horrible dilemma being faced by Obama.

    If true, and I am convinced it is, it has to be undone, but how?

    The Republicans will scream that Obama is destroying our security, but this gargantuan mess is incapable of protecting us if it is not focused and how could it be?

  2. Talk about too big to fail. This is too big and is surely failing.

  3. And Rufus thought I was exaggerating when I counted 30 TSA agents at one airport gate.

  4. Cheaper than 9-11

  5. We haven't had another 'big one', how long can you keep up no fly zones in Iraq?, we did get sucked into Afghanistan and nobody has the answer.

    Our major mistake--not taking out Iran with the Israelis when we had a good chance, and might have changed the government there too

    General bob

  6. "It cannot be a piece designed to help explain the horrible dilemma being faced by Obama."
    The hell it ain't!
    That's there business, toe the party line and the party line straight from the WH is,
    wait for it...
    Blame Bush.

    BHO couldn't give a damn about govt secrecy, so he hasn't wasted a second worrying about it.

    Both he and the Dems promised transparency, and the WH and Dem Congress are the most opaque and secretive of any in my lifetime.

    Bush folded over and over again, but he didn't fold to Ron Paul, he folded to the DEMOCRATS.
    ...creating Homeland Security, not vetoing more DEMOCRAT spending, and etc.

    Neither the WaPo, the WH, nor the Dems ever mention that the Dems have controlled the purse strings for nearly FOUR YEARS.

    Why mix a problem for us up as a problem for Obama when it IS NOT, simply to spin another irrelevant Blame Bush tale in service of BHO and the Dems.

    Folks still believe "Bush got us into this mess," yet he is far less culpable than a multitude of Democrats, showcased by Dodd and Barney.

  7. The NY Times had a piece that largely blamed Jindal and Louisiana for BHO's out to lunch non-performance!

  8. Free Housing for Freeloaders and their enablers was the single biggest factor in the meltdown.
    Courtesy of the Democrats.

  9. July 2011 Deadline Might Bring Home Just 'A Few Thousand' Troops

    July 18, 2010 9:00 AM
    FarkTechnoratiGoogleLiveMy Space

    How many troops will come home from America’s longest war when we reach that July 2011 deadline for a “transition?” In an EXCLUSIVE interview with This Week anchor Jake Tapper, Vice President Biden said “It could be as few as a couple thousand troops.”

    Tapper asked the Vice President about his remarks that appeared in Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise. “In July of 2011 you’re going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it,” the Vice President told Alter.

    Biden clarified: “If you read three or four paragraphs above that, Jonathan was making a very valid point. He was saying a lot in the military think they outmaneuvered the president to render the July date meaningless. And I was saying that's simply not true.”

    “The military signed on. Petraeus signed on. Everybody signed onto not a deadline, but a transition, a beginning of a transition,” Biden said.

    Tapper pressed him – but what did he mean when he said “a whole lot of people” would be “moving out” of Afghanistan?

    “What I was responding to was the idea that the president had been outmaneuvered. I was saying make it clear. And so it -- it wasn’t so much numbers I meant. It could be as few as a couple thousand troops. It could be more. But there will be a transition,” Biden said.

  10. "NASCAR runs carbs, Doug."
    Thats real relevant...

    The entire US Fleet runs on Fuel Injection, and we just grant a compassionate pass to you throwback southern rednecks!

    ...and Oil ain't a nickle a barrel in my World.

  11. Tapper's one of the few remaining decent MSM journalists.

  12. It was an article about "racing," Doug. And, yeah, that should have been 20 "million" barrels.

  13. "Among the most important people inside the SCIFs are the low-paid employees carrying their lunches to work to save money.
    They are the analysts, the 20- and 30-year-olds making $41,000 to $65,000 a year, whose job is at the core of everything Top Secret America tries to do

    Yeah, but more important is the guy responsible for keeping SCIF networks secure.
    That's our kid.
    (where SCIF stuff was going on long before 9-11)

  14. The racist war machine went into high gear again when the NAACP adopted a libelous resolution condemning "racist elements" in the Tea Party movement. They called on the movement's leaders to repudiate bigotry, despite cries from Tea Party members across the country that the "resolution" was just a "political ploy." It was worse than that. It was a declaration of war against good, decent people. A missile at the heart of American unity, subversion to melt the melting pot.

    I have spoken at many a Tea Party event and there is no finer, more decent group of patriotic Americans in the country.

    Pamela Geller

    This is what ticks me off, they've got me on the subversives list. having attended one political event in my life,

    He's got the administration loaded up with every gook you can imagine.

    If race war does come to the country, like Whiskey predicts, don't blame me.

    Thankfully November is just around the corner, and I see more and more predicts the Senate may switch hands.

    Twelve years of the current shit and we really would become Zimbabwe.

    What is needed is a contagious
    New way of seeing things
    Like children at their best
    Or angelic older men and women....with soft music flowing

    but i quit

  15. Bush was an abomination, that brought US to the ObamaNation.

    There is no getting around that, doug-o.

    If it were not for Mr Bush's inept incompetence, there would be no Obama, kickin' our ass.

    As you tell US, repeatedly, that he is.
    While the DOW has rebounded.

    Mr Bush signed all that Democratic legislation, not a single veto. He was certainly PROUD of that.

    The entire Federal government was behind spreading the wealth, providing home owner opportunities, for one an all.

    I believe it was call the "Opportunity Society" by Newt and his minions, at the time. It was certainly championed by Jack Kemp, back in his day.

    There is plenty of blame to go around, but the buck stops at the Resolute desk, in the Oval office.

    Which was where Mr Bush was sitting, when the shit hit the fan.
    It was on his watch that we hit the reef. As I predicted we would, back in the Belmont days.

    The "Long War" at a cost of a $$$$ trillion USD, borrowed from Charlie Chi-com, has busted US.

    The "Long War", that is all Team Bush, 100%.
    A proven and long lasting failure.

    The crux of all the other challenges we now face, that Trillion USD we've poured into the waters of the Persian Gulf.

  16. Gd, I love this woman! She is not afraid of the jackals, hyenas, and vultures who troll her home, her garbage cans, and her most prized possession, her children. She has spine, character, ethics, integrity, and above all, true grit. If she runs, I'll be right behind her.

    Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real

    The Islamic supremacist mega mosque is a stab in the eye of every American. The question is, why there? Why did the terror-tied Imam Rauf spend five million dollars to build a triumphal mosque 600 feet from the site of the largest attack, Islamic attack in American history? There have been 15,644 Islamic attacks since 911 across the world. Each one had the imprimatur of an Islamic cleric. What is being done to expunge the koran of the violent texts that inspire jihad?

    The response to the overwhelming pain this mosque has caused has been ad hominem attacks. I find the Cordoba Initiative's callousness towards the grief they are causing radically intolerant.

    SIOA is holding another peaceful protest against the Ground Zero mega mosque on September 11th. Be there. It's now or never.

    And let me add that I am proud to be a National Advisory Board member of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.

    Pamela Geller

    She's got her head on straight, the Geller

  17. Hyperion to a Satyr when compared to this piece of crap.

  18. Obama could smoke crack with his daughters in the White House and it wouldn't move his numbers with the blacks.

  19. RACING uses fuel injection.

    NASCAR uses an Obsolete Holley Carb.

    One Model for all cars.

    "Reasons" why

  20. All Islamic terrorism is at first Islamic and mostly financed with Saudi money. That money comes from oil revenue. Oil money is the lifeblood of Islamic terrorism.

    We find it necessary to spend $85 Billion and hire 850,000 people to protect us from Saudi oil money.

    Why not demand the Saudis pay for it or spend their money to stop it?

  21. Only problem with that, 'Rat, is even know Defense Spending is a small part of the Budget, and will not be growing nearly as fast as the far larger Free Lunch and Free Healthcare programs.

    ...and Rufus is in favor of Free Healthcare for all, so how could that be a bad thing?

  22. Re: inept incompetence

    To be ineptly incompetent would be what? Competence....brilliant analysis, as usual...

  23. The reason we have Obama is scenes like this where people find something else to do than focus on Obama's ONGOING, FAR LARGER, WMD's aimed at the hear of this country, it's freedoms, and it's economy.

  24. Watch the video and look at Bush. Bush was told by Andy Carr that the US was under attack. Bush was trained as a fighter pilot.

    Any air force fighter pilot on any tactical air base would have spent days in Victor Alert areas where at any moment they could be scrambled into activity and launched within six minutes.

    Bush sat there dumfounded for almost as many minutes doing nothing. He had no idea what was coming next. He had no idea if a follow-up nuclear attack was underway. He sat there and did nothing.

    His conduct was indefensible.

  25. Did you know there's going to be, unless stopped, some kind of index of weight, height, body massive and you're to assigned a number and penalties to be paid if you exceed your limit?

    What happened to a woman's right to privacy, huh,huh,huh?

    All these disasters acoming brought to you by know nothing do gooders from the rural areas, who think you can just 'snap your fingers' and shit happens.

    What's actually coming is rationing of health care. If you don't fit the bill you're out on your ear, a little to old, a little too fat, this problem, that problem, the hell with you, we ain't got the time.

  26. Right to privacy, right to choose sounded good before, sounded so good in the ears of the women before.

    I'm commenting so much cause I have a doc's appt. this morning myself, and the wife snoozes, if only Svet were here to keep me company.

  27. Plenty new agencies there, Bobo, and hundreds more in the "Financial Reform"

  28. Bush was considering the strategic options and keeping the kids calm, is all, though it don't look so good.

  29. I find it odd defending Bush, but...
    Didn't it take some time to arrange his "Cowardly" Ride in Air Force One?

    Would it have been more prudent to do as the Dems suggested, and immediately got up, screaming with arms waving, and skeedadled promptly back so both he and Dick could resume their role as a single target in a known target area?

  30. Hell, we're just praying that they don't cut oil production any more.

    Know-littles talk about "China" having us by the balls. Horsehocky. If China sells a bond, someone else will buy the bond. Not to mention, they might drive down the value of the bonds remaining in their portfolio.

    The Sauds, however - now They Do have us by the nuts. They cut back another couple of million bpd, and hello hell.

  31. Seems like there would have to be lots of folks notified about what was going to happen next wrt Air Force One.

  32. They should have hurried right back to the White House with a big target on their backs.

  33. And don't forget THAT PITCH, fer Chrissakes, Deuce.

    And he wasn't wearing mom jeans!

  34. Healthcare is rationed to hell and back, right now. Just ask the 10 Million, or so, that can't buy it because of Preexisting Conditions, or Poverty.

  35. Do we know what Andy Carr really told him? Maybe he said, sit tight we're trying to get a handle on what's going on.

    Just askin'

  36. We got a GD Marxist with Sociopathic Personality Disorder in the Whitehouse, and were gonna focus on a Compassionate RINO EX President!

  37. Depends on which Card Trip your talkin about, Bob.

    On the second one he said:

    "Here's a Laugher:
    They did it AGAIN!

  38. I thought he said, "George Tenet called, and it ain't got nothin to do with them guys takin flight lessons down in Phoenix."

  39. Now, that guy that was working in that warehouse wasn't no "Einstein;" Where does HE go?

  40. Bush did not ask Carr any questions.

    "President Rufus sir, Vice President Doug just informed me that NYC is under attack. Two planes have just hit both of the WT towers. More later, will keep you informed. People are jumping out of the building and we have no clue as to what is going on.
    Don't say a work. We must not disturb the kiddies"

  41. Remember how great it was that the new "fiberglass" belted tires would get you ten, or fifteen thousand (in your dreams) miles?

    It took 10 X more man-hours to produce that tire than it takes to produce that set of 50,000 Mile Steel-Belteds on your present car.

    5 X the mileage, on 1/10 the labor.

  42. This shit ain't easy.

  43. He was just sitting there, thinking the thing through. He didn't consider that he was "on camera," and the ramifications of that.

  44. "Freedom of Worship "

    " If the swap-out occurred only once or twice, one might appropriately conclude it was merely a rhetorical accident. However, both the President and his Secretary of State have now replaced “freedom of religion” with “freedom of worship” too many times to seem inadvertent.


    Those who would limit religious practice to the cathedral and the home are the very same people who would strip the public square of any religious presence. They are working to tear down roadside memorial crosses built to commemorate fallen state troopers in Utah, to strip “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and they recently stopped a protester from entering an art gallery because she wore a pro-life pin.

  45. Bush sitting there didn't look too good, I gotta admit. Least he didn't use a teleprompter.

  46. Hey, they didn't start jumping out til it got real toasty.

    That took time.

    ...just as it did to make them arrangements for movin the CIC to a secure place, away from Trick Doug.

  47. Giuliani was angry.

    Bush was concerned with what we were gonna do about those "folks"

    You'd understand the equanimity if you had Texas Hospitality in your blood.

  48. No way could you pull a
    My Pet Goat
    Teaser on them innocent kids.

    Them kids woulda spent their whole lives depressed about being baited and switched upon by President GWB.

  49. Interesting Headline coming across; China now largest "Energy User."

    Oil immediately jumped A Dollar.

  50. Make that $1.60

    It ain't all about US, anymore.

  51. Mr Bush approved of the disbanding of the Iraqi Army, and did not even know he had done it.

    That is ineptitude and incompetence. rolled up in a single package.

    He and his staff of glory hungry fools. Approving of a "Long War" that has bankrupted the Government.

    Every dime of the $752 Billion the Federals have borrowed from Charlie Chi-com, poured into the Persian Gulf, to no good end.

  52. Damned thing was going too well as planned.

    Obviously time to change to a non-plan.

  53. As that Colonel who was paying the Iraqi Army said:

    "There is no way that did not fuel a large scale insurgency."

  54. "...a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight."

    Would you all like to come to dinner?

    : )

  55. I know you would, Blue.

    Dad is talking Senor Esteven into taking the Afghan HUMINT gig.

    Instead of encouraging Senor Esteven to spend the rest of his life goofing off, as he really should.

  56. My neighbor in the apartment business has his day in court today. Pled guilty, over two dozens plants and a pound of marijuana, in the new home he built. Had been watched by the secrete government (quad city task force) for over 8 months (no we didn't turn him in, in fact wrote letters in his favor)--on the enhanced charge, growing with kiddies around, he could get 10 years in the slammer. Will report tomorrow. Said it was for his own medical personal use.

    My hunch, he's away for a year with a long probation. As the prisons are full, he may not get that.

    Never use a gun in the commission of a crime. Nick the Bartender

  57. I always knew he was going to go back.

  58. My hunch is he was shipping it back to San Diego, where he has a brother. The Mexicans shouldn't get all the business.

  59. "Did you know there's going to be, unless stopped, some kind of index of weight, height, body massive and you're to assigned a number and penalties to be paid if you exceed your limit?"

    Well, hell, bob. If we're going to make sure everyone has health coverage, why NOT do it like it's done in the military?

  60. I saw more fat people in the past week than I've seen in the past six months.

  61. Cause we're not in the military?

    Cause we're in civil society?

  62. Not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with fat.

    Should've seen my great grandmother.

  63. "Cause we're not in the military?

    Cause we're in civil society?"

    It was tongue-in-cheek, bob.

  64. And the certain cousin's boyfriend who never stops talking?

    He is actually a quite likable young man and a welcome addition.

  65. I saw more fat people in the past week than I've seen in the past six months.

    You would love Reno.

  66. How many times do I have to tell you. There are no more fat people. They now have a condition called "obesity." They are victims, we are all victims, victims us all.

    It must be true cause I saw it on TV.

  67. No me, I ain't no victim, blood pressure still perfect, height to weight to mass right on the money, according to my report today.

    It's not that hard to do if your wife starves you half to death.

    When's the last time you ever heard me bragging about a fancy meal or drinks by the wagon load?

    A tuna fish sandwich, and ice water, I feel fortunate.

  68. We're going to the Basque Festival and the Shakespeare Festival in Boise next week. A family reunion of sorts, as niece Emily will be there. I'm gonna fish the Boise River in the middle of town, something I've always wanted to do. 4 nights, 5 days of the exotic. Tickets already on my credit cards, of course. I'm hoping my daughter meets up with the Basque kid she knows from here, best kid she ever hung out with in my view. A man can hope.

  69. Idaho always had a lot of Basques, if you didn't know, used to see them herding sheep in the mountains, wearing parkas in the rain and snow. Now they are all in government, where the smart money is, congregated around Boise, wear suits, and carry umbrellas.

  70. You would love Reno.

    Mon Jul 19, 02:38:00 PM EDT


    I like to think I can learn to love anywhere, given time.

    Most assuredly not the case, however.

  71. Half a year into being home again and I'm already thinking, "Oh my God. I'm stuck."

  72. I think I could really like Lake Tahoe.

    Sounds to me like Reno was traumatic for someone.

    BTW - I saw a property listing for 1170 some acres in eastern Oregon for $644,000 or so.

  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. I was offered a job teaching English down in Bogota.

    How to make that part time?

  75. “I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”
    ___Twain on Lake Tahoe (1863)

  76. I hate to tell you but Tahoe really sucks. Try Flathead Lake. But to each his own. Her own.

  77. I saw a property listing for 1170 some acres in eastern Oregon for $644,000 or so.

    That might not be to bad if you could actually raise something on it other than sagebrush, or rocks.

  78. Recently retired Navy guy (call sign Gucci) and his wife and two children just planted themselves in Incline Village full time.

    As old friends of ours, who learned the hard way in Hilton Head, once said, "Never live where you vacation."

  79. Only person I know who got a letter of welcome from the Governor upon his retirement and pending relocation.

  80. "Never live where you vacation."

    That all depends where you vacation, doesn't it? We always, well usually, vacationed at CdA lake when I was young, and later after college I lived there, alone too, much of the time, read books, fished, and was happy as hell, kind of my Locus amoenus, course if you vacation in hell you wouldn't want to live there.

  81. My daughter has my computer going again except no sound, I haven't been able to listen to anything for weeks, kinda relaxing, whatever I've missed.

    I'm excited to find out how many years my apartment owning neighbor will spend visiting in the Idaho state prison system but so far haven't been able to find out, he was sentenced this afternoon.

    As near as I can tell he must have taken the rap for his wife, as he pled guilty, a noble act, as she was surely involved, as it was her underaged son helping him.

    And he seemed like such a nice young man, and was too in many ways. We had hired him on occasion for handyman jobs.

  82. "I lived there, alone too, much of the time, read books, fished, and was happy as hell"

    My husband was a Hammonasset life guard for a few years.

    What was the most enjoyable part of it?

    Living in a staff trailer in the fall, when almost everyone had left.

  83. You feel as though finally have that little strip of coast to yourself.

    And it is delightful.

  84. Blogger trish said...

    "Half a year into being home again and I'm already thinking, "Oh my God. I'm stuck.""

    Oh. My. God. Am I stuck in, like, high school?

    OK, not high school, but, rather, the world of a 20 something grrrrllll.

    It was 4 a.m. and I was sitting in the 'Deep South' in a parking lot smoking a joint and whinging on about women with an old time cab driver (this was a bunch of years ago) and he said "Asssshhhhhh (okay, not my real name) don't worry about women in their 20's - they don't know if they want to get married or get fucked. In their 30's and beyond they are soooo much more .... stable."

    trish, for all your travels, haven't you figured out that it really doesn't matter where you are but who you are with and what you are doing? All of life is an adventure. Lessons hard learned for a child bride? ;)

  85. Life, sometimes so wearying
    Is worth its weight in gold
    The experience of traveling
    Lends a wisdom that is old

    Beyond our 'living memory'
    A softly spoken prayer:
    "It's the journey that's important,
    Not the getting there!"

    Ins and outs and ups and downs
    Life's road meanders aimlessly?
    Or so it seems, but somehow
    Leads us where we need to be,

    And being simply human
    We oft question and compare...
    "Is the journey so important
    Or the getting there?"

    And thus it's always been
    That question pondered down the ages
    By simple people with simple ways
    To wise and ancient sages...

    How sweet then, quietly knowing
    Reaching destination fair:

    "It's the journey that's important,
    Not the getting there!"

    ___John McLeod

  86. ...returned yesterday from a week in the Squaw Valley region...always wanted to see the Olympic Village...on the lift down met two delightful beauties - cousins - one French - both Jews...ages 4 and 5...My Sweetheart did yoeman's service balancing our tri-lingual conversation...soaked in a hot tub at 8200', with snow only yards away...sections of Tahoe could be clearly the Hope Diamond...

  87. ...and I just got back from 3 weeks in *sorta* northern Ontario. Aside from golf I read a lot. "The Big Short", "Too Big to Fail" and of interest to you Allen, maybe, Saul Bellow's "To Jerusalem and Back".

  88. "It's the journey that's important"

    Yes, allen. It is.

  89. "The court's decision made headlines all over the world, in large part because of the names of those sitting in prison as a result of the law, including Black, former Enron boss Jeffrey Skilling, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and California Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham." Court grants bail to jailed ex-media mogul Black


    Abramoff To Work At Tov Pizza

    Abramoff is out and employed.

  90. Ash,

    When I chose, I read the Great Mortality ("an intimate history of the Black Death"). The author, a nice Irish boy, became transfixed by the beastial responsive behavior of Europeans to their Jews, murdering them by the thousands, to wit:

    "Later, after the violence subsided, one chronicler would write that the 'poison which killed the Jews was their wealth'".
    pg. 253

    "In Brandenburg, the Jews were burned on a grill like meat. 'These obstinate Jews...heard the sentence with laughing mouths and greeted its execution with hymns of praise', recalled an eyewitness, who says that 'not only did they sing and laugh on the grill, but, for the most part, jumped and uttered cries of joy, and thus...suffered death with great firmness'". pg 257

    O, and I did enjoy some great micro-brewed ales. Nothing quite like BBQ and beer, hey, Ash.

  91. The rational behind it may have been something akin to the Cayuse murder of the Whitman compound. With half the tribe dead of the smallpox, about which they knew nothing, they saw the Whitmans and comany doing a little better and figured it was these devils causing it and logically enough concluded they should get rid of the cause of their suffering, logically enough from the knowledge of the times.

  92. The EPA today made the nonsensical descision to include wood waste in with coal, etc as a polluter. No matter that if you leave the wood chips on the ground instead of burning them for electricity, as we do at the University of Idaho, sooner or later they will rot, releasing their CO2 anyway.

  93. The beauty of the Tahoe area is how much sunshine there is year round.

    Many very comfortable days even when the snowpack is deep.
    Kid sent back pics of Tahoe - Donner when he went to Reno.

    I got homesick for the summers we spent in Truckee building houses.
    (and a couple of micros)

    Kid managed to get in two days with the local canoe club at Donner Lake.
    ...the very spot on the lake I'd take him on weekends when he was three!

  94. Then there's the air and the smell...

  95. Doug,

    Re: Donner Lake

    …spent some time there on a pontoon boat with ten future in-laws… It was lovely (the boating, that is)...also got in some horseback riding on "Bullwinkle", a well mannered, tall, middle aged gent...didn't even start when we jumped a mule deer...meandered through large grove of regal Quaking Aspen...My lady has been riding since being put on a saddle at two…she could hold her own with any man or jack in a joust…

  96. Is your wife Korean, Allen?

    Son appears to be in his first serious relationship since getting royally screwed as a young lad.

    From what I've heard she's a keeper.
    Korean girl born in Japan and adopted by mainlanders.
    Don't know the details of that.

    Memorable quote so far:
    "You have such a nice house,
    you should take care of it.

    Parents love that one, and she's already started to show him how.

  97. ...or was that Habu.
    The mind fails.

  98. "You have such a nice house,
    you should take care of it."

    Tony Soprano would word it more like this: "You have such a nice house, it would be a shame if something happened to it."